Staying Conscious


Surprise! I’m back with an update. Reworking my old manuscript is bringing enormous satisfaction. My unconscious is sending solutions to knotty problems via my dreams and early morning ruminations before I’m fully awake. I’m meditating for 20 minutes before I get to work and writing for hours at a time. The latest entries in my dream journal say it all.


I’m teaching a one-hour college class in Language Arts. I have two pages of written notes stuck to a clipboard and am carefully peeling them off so I can hold them in my hands while I teach. Little chunks of the bottom of the second page stick to the board, but there’s nothing written on them so I won’t worry about them now. I suddenly realize I’ve spent the first 15 minutes getting my notes together and have no idea what’s in them. I feel an urgency to start teaching.

I start quieting everyone down, but interruptions and distractions prevent me from actually teaching. This is okay with me, because I can use this time to figure out what to talk about. I hope I’ll know by the time the class is ready to listen. A mother comes in late with two little girls. I don’t want them here but realize she must not have a choice so I smile to let them know it’s okay, all the while hoping she’ll keep them from disturbing the class. A loud male student gets my attention and I firmly ask him to quiet down. I realize I was too harsh and could have handled this better. I see I’ve used up another 15 minutes.

In the third 15 minutes the little girls fall backwards into a deep hole or well in the floor—it’s round and maybe 4 feet deep. The girls are submerged in a foot or two of water. I’m worried, but the mother doesn’t appear to be. They’re holding their breath and enjoying themselves. I decide they’ll come up when they’re ready and continue thinking about what to teach. But soon everyone is gathered around and I can’t ignore the situation anymore so I ask the parents (the father is here now) to pull them out.

Now I only have 15 minutes left. What’s the best way to use this time? I realize I haven’t given them the course syllabus yet. They need it to prepare for their end-of-semester project. I try to remember what it is. Oh yes, they have to create original learning centers. I feel better now. I know what to say before the class is over and I have to leave. I organize my thoughts and begin to teach.


This feels like a metaphor for the way I’ve spent my time in Earth School.  

During the first quadrant I unconsciously spent my time preparing myself, gathering information without having a clue about what I was meant to do with my life.

In the second quadrant I was teaching and becoming aware of forces within me that were preventing me from finding and fulfilling my life’s work. One challenge was juggling parenthood with teaching and learning.  Another was some strong masculine energy that presented me with problems I didn’t know how to handle gracefully. 

During the third quadrant I committed myself to dreamwork as a means of self-discovery and wrote my first three books. At last I knew what my purpose was:  to share what I knew about the transformation of human consciousness. Sometimes my immature feminine shadow fell back into unconsciousness. But I knew the importance of my mission and had the awareness to ask the Self (the parents) to bring her back into awareness.  

In the final quadrant where I am now, I know how little time I have left to fully prepare my students (whoever might be influenced by my teaching and writing) for what is to come. Now I know what to do and am doing it. 


There’s a girl-woman I know well who’s done something problematic. She’s got a bandaged wound. I’ve apprehended her and have to keep my eyes on her at all times to make sure she doesn’t escape and create more problems. This feels extremely important. Occasionally I take her by the wrist to keep her near. She’s pleasant and compliant, but I can’t trust her.


The girl is my feminine shadow.  The dream says I am seeing her clearly and objectively. When I stay with her she’s not a problem. But if I fall back into unconsciousness and forget to watch her, she will resurrect and negatively impact my work and relationships.


Staying conscious is vital to this last quadrant of my life.  I meditate every day now to be more mindful of subtle thoughts and inclinations that might prevent me from doing my best work. When something uncomfortable emerges I align with my observer/Self to look at myself objectively, recognize my shadow, and gently bring myself back into a place of repentance, forgiveness, gratitude and love. Making this effort is working.

Sending you love and blessings, dear friends. I’m having the time of my life.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.

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21 Responses

  1. WOW! Thank you for ‘presence’ here in my study in Australia 🙂 ….. for your sharing, your wisdom … and your encouragement.
    May Easter Blessings abound.

  2. Thank you Jean.
    I was just now wondering about direction, in this my ‘final-quarter’.
    It’s been rather hard to pull back from the values of the collective, & stay true to the self…your post is timely and a spot on reminder. Jeanie, ?

    1. Another Jeanie! Yay. Most of us are in our final quarter now. 🙂 It is hard to pull back from the values of the collective and stay true to the self. Perhaps it’s been a bit easier for me because I’m an introvert and used to being ‘different.’ However, being married to an extrovert keeps me on my toes! Blessings. Thanks for writing.

  3. Hi Jean,
    I got goosebumps reading these dreams. It is so exciting to see where dreamwork has led you. I have been reading your blog from the beginning (I’m at 2011) and now have about 30 dreams of my own to learn from. I have discovered some exciting things about myself! I also ordered your book “Dream Theatres”. Thank you for all of your inspiring work!

    1. Oh, Pamela. How lovely to hear from you….and to know that my early posts are being read. I’m thrilled to hear you’re learning so much from your dreams. Here’s a quote you might enjoy from Jung: “And you can be sure that the dream is your nearest friend; the dream is the friend of those who are not guided any more by the traditional truth and in consequence are isolated.” ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 674 He was right. Thank you for writing, and thank you for getting my book. May your dreams be enlightening and empowering. Love, Jeanie

  4. I’m thrilled you’re having so much fun writing and staying conscious! 🙂 YAY! Have you tried Scrivener for writing/editing? Best program I’ve ever had for manuscripts.

    1. Thanks, Darla. I’m thrilled too! It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt this creative and purposeful. But it’s been well worth the wait. No, I haven’t tried Scrivener and don’t know anything about it. Is it a sort of online editing thing?

      1. Scrivener is a software program to download that assists in structuring and organizing, that’s the way I think of it. I used to just write in Word (since my background was as a legal secretary and I was at ease with word processing) but once I tried Scrivener, the entire process is SO much easier — move paragraphs (or sub-sections or chapters) with complete simplicity, saves drafts of those smaller pieces within the program, view as text or “note cards”, creates an outline from your note cards, and so much more; provides an easy way to store your research, etc. It’s fantastic and quite user-friendly from the get-go. 🙂 It’s available for either MS or Mac (I use for Mac). And…inexpensive!

  5. Hey Jean thanks for visiting and letting us know what you’re up to. So lovely that your focus is bringing valuable yields to yourself and then hopefully to us, as they’ve always done. A blessed Easter to you and family. ??

  6. This is a great post, replete in transcendental wisdom. I would be happy to hear more about what masculine energy works like in the consciousness of a female.

    1. Thanks, Philiip. This is a big question. Here’s my short answer for now.
      Essentially, I see my masculine energy to be about setting goals: focusing mostly on the outer world as opposed to my inner world; working hard to develop my skills so as to achieve perfection; doing and manifesting as opposed to being and relating; a preference for the mental functions: i.e. logic, words, ideas, and theories; and seeking to develop my individuality. I see these as various aspects of my drive for self preservation.
      I see my feminine energy as more about the drive for species-preservation: being rather than doing, receiving and accepting what IS, i.e. living in and appreciating the present moment instead of ignoring it in pursuit of my ego’s goals; connection, relationship, and completion instead of separating and discriminating differences; living in the now instead of the past or future; embodying my spirituality instead of keeping it in my head; focusing on my inner life and its images and emotions; and being present to my body and nature.
      For me, the essential differences between males and females are not about the binary genders— because we all have the same instincts, emotions, drives, and archetypal inheritance—but about the cultural stereotypes and roles which are imposed on the genders. As I see it, when the masculine and feminine drives in each of us work together as an integrated whole, we are able to transcend our dualistic thinking and move into non-dualistic unitive consciousness.

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